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Power Fx, the new language created by Microsoft to program with hardly any code and based on Excel formulas

27 mayo, 2021

Today, during their annual Ignite 2021 Developer Event, Microsoft has introduced its new Power Fx programming language, designed to make it easier for most users accustomed to working with MS Excel to be able to program.

And not because they trust that these users are now going to study complex software development lessons, but because Power Fx is a ‘low-code’ language (literally, ‘low code’), that is, focused on simplifying the code to reduce its use to its minimum expression.

In this case, it is intended that we can use the Power Platform in the most intuitive way possible, facilitating the creation of simple business programs in the form of apps or bots.

This language is based on declarative expressions in order to make it easier for users to read and manipulate data. Y, by relying on formulas already used in ExcelMicrosoft is confident that the basics of Power Fx are already familiar to “millions of users.”

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“Programming languages ​​are in our DNA”

In addition to Excel formulas, Microsoft has also been inspired by the syntax of languages ​​such as Pascal, Mathematica or Miranda (a functional programming language from the 80s).

So even if it is ‘low-code’, Power Fx it will not be a visual language, but text-based. And, in addition, it is Open Source and it’s available on GitHub for anyone to implement in their own projects. Its objective? Turn it into the de facto standard for these kinds of uses.

However, despite its ‘open source’ nature, Microsoft intends to continue to control the evolution of Power Fx, although adhered to an MIT license, also applies a ‘Collaborator License Agreement’ (CLA) that would allow the company change said license in the future.

In the words of Charles Lamanna, corporate vice president of Microsoft, we would be facing yet another example of a language developed by a large company that in recent years makes the leap to ‘open source’ and ends up being adopted by a wide community of developers, as already it happened with C # and TypeScript (from Microsoft itself), or with Go (from Google).

Power Fx will be available both in the Power Apps Studio environment and -in the case of needing to develop more complex applications- in Visual Studio Code. We will also be able to use it shortly in Power Automate (the old Microsoft Flow) and Power Virtual Agents.